International Podcasting Endowment

We need to support *all* podcasters so they can create their work. How can we collectively support them? Here are some thoughts on how.

Today there has been a lot of talk on tha blogs about iTunes having podcatching abilities in a future version. (Podcatching is the process of downloading podcasts.) Basically iTunes would do what iPodder does and potentially replace it on many Macs. On a Engadget thread someone brought up the possibility of the iTunes music store helping podcasters sell podcasts. Several people chimed in that they wouldn’t pay for podcasts. I’m afraid neither will a large enough number of people to properly support individual podcasters. But then again some people use Google Ads and are happy with what it pays them. So selling podcasts files might be an option for some.

This conversation gave me an idea of how podcasters could be supported. A International Podcasting Endowment. A large fund in the form of a non-profit foundation that would help ensure the future of independent media creation via Podcasting. Not necessarily one supported by any government, (Because we know how bad that idea can be. i.e. the National Endowment of Arts) but by thousands of individuals.

There would be lots of issues to address before this idea could really happen but one *really* jumps out at me. How do you fairly distribute financial help to podcasters? In other words how would you provide grants from the endowment without first setting up a big bureaucracy with a expensive overhead (more than 20% lets say). A network centric model could be used. How would this work? What would the basic model look like? Here is a challenge to you all. Let’s figure this out. How can we collectively support Podcasters and raise societies perceived value of their work? Especially outside of traditional business models that favor consolidation and large multinational organizations.

A communique from Unitarian Jihad

Jon Carroll, of the San Francisco Chronical, claims to have received an email “via an anonymous spam remailer” from a group calling itself Unitarian Jihad. Here is an excerpt:

“Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States! Too long has your attention been waylaid by the bright baubles of extremist thought. Too long have fundamentalist yahoos of all religions (except Buddhism — 14-5 vote, no abstentions, fundamentalism subcommittee) made your head hurt. Too long have you been buffeted by angry people who think that God talks to them. You have a right to your moderation! You have the power to be calm! We will use the IED of truth to explode the SUV of dogmatic expression! ”

Man, if only this wasn’t a creative and well written joke.

Sin City is the mirror of America

Quite a few years ago I decided that I didn’t have to agree with every aspect of art to enjoy it. At the time I was thinking about the lyrics of the death metal band Slayer. I will never forget seeing them live and being blown away. Yet every time I read their lyrics I wondered why they chose those words..

To me this was a valuable lesson in aesthetics. There is art in many things. So many of us see only artfulness in the pretty and gorgeous. In a way this is much easier. Enjoying that which makes us happy is simpler than that which makes us disgusted. Intellectual concepts come in weird packages.

Frank Miller, the creator of the original Sin City graphic novels and codirector of the new movie, is my favorite illustrator of the comic world. His formal style of drawing is as expressive as any painter through out time. His quality isn’t so odd in the fine art world but a jewel in the pop culture pages of comic books.

I have many of the Sin City series of graphic novels. I even have several comic books he did the covers for. His Dark Knight Bat Man is quintessential. So after seeing the live action recreation of the Sin City graphic novels I am disgust at what it showed me.

Is this because I am older than when I found the graphic novels and sat down with them to read not getting up until I was done? Am I more sensitive to the death so often depicted in Frank Miller’s illustrations? Have I seen more violence with my own eyes? Yes and No.

Now I really find a great value in looking in the mirror of America that Frank Miller holds up for us all. This reflection was also created by other great literary and film noir creators. My country was founded on lies, theft, greed, and death. Why shouldn’t our art show us this horror? How could generations hundreds of years later not be sadistically intertwined and enthralled by this gore?

There really is nothing so strange as being repelled and attracted to the images that fly by so beautifully in Sin City the movie. I’m grateful that Frank Miller made it. Now I understand a bit more how a country like the United States could have ended up like it has.

“Chill Folks”…Thanks Doc

Doc Searls says,
“Chill, folks. Markets are public places where makers and vendors offer users and customers lots of choice. Not coliseums where gladiators kick and stab each other to death while the rest of us cheer over bruises and blood.”

No he isn’t talking about the future of the WTO if Paul Wolfowitz becomes it’s head. He’s talking about the banter and competition between three new podcasting ventures and the blogers that love them and hate them. BlogerMatrix, Odeo, and Adam Curry’s Podshow.